5

votes

How do you cook Okinawan Sweet Potatoes?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 26, 2012 at 9:13 PM

I just picked some Okinawan Sweet Potatoes up from the 99 ranch market in Dublin, CA. I tried baking them like I do the Yams and Orange Sweet Potatoes but they came out very dry, dense and starchy. What is the best way to prepare these treasures from the Gods?

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on January 27, 2012
at 04:25 PM

Thanks JuBa! I have not bought or cooked any plantains yet but I will definitely add it to my list of things to try. I've started adding back some starches to my diet and I feel a lot better now. I was too low on carbs, and I don't need to lose any weight.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on January 27, 2012
at 03:20 PM

The Japanese are so solid - I love the dryer quality as you can pretty much torture them happily into whatever tasty preparation you want. The US sweets I'll use more for soups, it's that wet density that throws me off. Speaking of roasting, must pop some in now. Tastycakes.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on January 27, 2012
at 03:16 PM

Oh nice! Hey - you should try your coco/curry mix and sub plantains for the starch! If you go really brown and spotty they cook up faster and are just a nice sweet, go greener and they def. cook longer but more savoury. You can even add cinnamon and a little nutmeg to the sweeter plantain mix! I promise it's good.

Ef4c5b09fdccf73be575d3a0c267fdd9

(2539)

on January 27, 2012
at 04:06 AM

I've noticed this too. No other starches bloat me besides these Oakinowan ones and Taro. I love them both but limit them now because of this. Ther also more expensive...

Aa1f07e23a47aed0d07b712645e0d213

(313)

on January 27, 2012
at 01:55 AM

I could be wrong but doesn't the skin contain a significant amount of potassium? That might be worth saving, but I could be wrong and if I am I apologize. I am really busy right now and I would look it up lol.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on January 27, 2012
at 01:33 AM

I agree, compared to the traditional sweet potato, Okinawan yams are much harder to digest.

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on January 27, 2012
at 12:40 AM

I only get the Japanese these days. When the co-op has them in stock, I sometimes get carried away and buy the whole box. They are both food and religious rite for me these days. I smell them now in the oven...ridiculous quantity of butter...I like the idea of coconut milk and cinnamon.

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on January 26, 2012
at 11:44 PM

+1 I knew you would chime in on this. I'm soooooo fortunate that 2 Asian grocery stores near me carry them on a regular basis.

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7 Answers

6
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on January 26, 2012
at 11:33 PM

There are two versions: one has a very very deep purple flesh, think blueberry coloured, and then another that is a pale violet. The lighter flesh is much dryer and starchier than the darker.

Okinawans are not as easily found for me, I have to fight locals for them as my long arms can usually only grab one or two at a time, so there are others that I utilize, primarily Japanese sweet potatoes - they play a huge part in my lifestyle and I eat them daily - especially post workout. Luckily they are just helping me get stronger and faster instead of looking like I'm carrying twins :) Many people tolerate them differently, I know people who can't eat them at all, so just be aware of that.

Great ideas have been listed. In addition I would like to suggest steaming whole, when cool slice and keep warm. Melt butter on the stove, add lemon or lime zest, let the flavours meld for about a minute, remove from heat - add juice from the citrus that you used, pour over the sliced potatoes and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.

I've used in a pot de creme recipe, in a strange but tasty haupia/Okinawan sweet potato dessert for a girlfriend of mine who was lonely for home, they're actually really fun sliced thin and made into chips and smashed with coconut milk and a bit of cinnamon.

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on January 26, 2012
at 11:44 PM

+1 I knew you would chime in on this. I'm soooooo fortunate that 2 Asian grocery stores near me carry them on a regular basis.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on January 27, 2012
at 03:20 PM

The Japanese are so solid - I love the dryer quality as you can pretty much torture them happily into whatever tasty preparation you want. The US sweets I'll use more for soups, it's that wet density that throws me off. Speaking of roasting, must pop some in now. Tastycakes.

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on January 27, 2012
at 12:40 AM

I only get the Japanese these days. When the co-op has them in stock, I sometimes get carried away and buy the whole box. They are both food and religious rite for me these days. I smell them now in the oven...ridiculous quantity of butter...I like the idea of coconut milk and cinnamon.

4
6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on January 26, 2012
at 09:18 PM

I cook them 2 ways.

Cook them (after peeling and cutting into chunks) in coconut milk with curry powder simmered over medium heat for about 20 minutes.

I also like to bake them and then make mashed sweet potatoes with them by adding cream, butter, and cinnamon. The process is very similar to making regular mashed potatoes.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on January 27, 2012
at 03:16 PM

Oh nice! Hey - you should try your coco/curry mix and sub plantains for the starch! If you go really brown and spotty they cook up faster and are just a nice sweet, go greener and they def. cook longer but more savoury. You can even add cinnamon and a little nutmeg to the sweeter plantain mix! I promise it's good.

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on January 27, 2012
at 04:25 PM

Thanks JuBa! I have not bought or cooked any plantains yet but I will definitely add it to my list of things to try. I've started adding back some starches to my diet and I feel a lot better now. I was too low on carbs, and I don't need to lose any weight.

2
3f3236d1f951d4b4c25eff387699a905

(554)

on January 27, 2012
at 12:50 AM

I peel them because the skin is fiber only. Then I shape them like fries and put them in the oven with a lot of butter. Nothing else needed. They are super delicious! In Japan they are more used for baking sweets or eaten as snack rather than with food. They are very sweet. Cinnamon is also very good with them.

Aa1f07e23a47aed0d07b712645e0d213

(313)

on January 27, 2012
at 01:55 AM

I could be wrong but doesn't the skin contain a significant amount of potassium? That might be worth saving, but I could be wrong and if I am I apologize. I am really busy right now and I would look it up lol.

2
Aa1f07e23a47aed0d07b712645e0d213

(313)

on January 26, 2012
at 10:25 PM

Personally, I had the same problem until I properly vented it after I pulled it out of the oven. Depending on the size of the potato, you need to of course cook it longer. Also make sure before cooking it that you have poked it with a fork three or four times equally spaced along the top because otherwise the potato will pop out the bottom and the juice will leak out significantly. Also I know many people just cook it on the rack on the oven: make sure you don't do this for the potato will get dry and the juice will leak as well.

But it is often forgotten that foods cook themselves if they are hot and have been cooking for a long time. And foods that have an insulating factor to them, like the potato or sweet potato, which stays hot until you poke it a bit and also the skin is an insulating factor. I slice the potato, as poking it in may areas around the sides and top still doesn't do it much justice: and it ruins the skin which is one of the best tasting parts.

I slice the potato into several pieces. Make sure though that after you slice it, you keep the slices upright and just slightly spaced from each other to allow it to vent: when you cut open a sweet potato you might not notice it but as it cools this juice runs from the inside and that is the sweetness and it is essential to keep this from happening too much because then you will also have another dry potato. I slice them and put the slices in a bowl where the skin always touches the bowl. Poking holes before is even better and make sure you don't poke holes too much on the side and make them at an upper angle because the juice will come out. That is what I taught myself lol but I hope it works out for you.

1
Medium avatar

on January 26, 2012
at 10:30 PM

I was either slicing them up and microwaving them or else just poking holes in them and microwaving them. They are more dry and starchy for sure, but that was the quality that I liked about them.

I should mention that I've completely stopped eating this variety, though I prefer the taste more than the other types, since it causes me to get really bloated. The amount of resistant starch that they contain is huge and totally unlike more traditional (for Americans at least) sweet potato varieties. When I went back to "garnet yams" I experienced no bloating at all. If you eat the Okinawan/Asian/Japanese/Oriental variety here and there, the difference would likely be barely perceptible, but if you have a reasonably high carb target and incorporate a lot of them into your diet, you'll start to look like you're in the third trimester, carrying twins.

Ef4c5b09fdccf73be575d3a0c267fdd9

(2539)

on January 27, 2012
at 04:06 AM

I've noticed this too. No other starches bloat me besides these Oakinowan ones and Taro. I love them both but limit them now because of this. Ther also more expensive...

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on January 27, 2012
at 01:33 AM

I agree, compared to the traditional sweet potato, Okinawan yams are much harder to digest.

0
Medium avatar

on October 25, 2012
at 12:06 PM

I know this is old, but I just roast em whole, cut em open and eat em with a spoon! The ones I can get are the violet, purple/white streaky kinda ones. Totally addicted. I thought I liked the orange ones, but these purple ones are gold! I found going too low carb I got amenorrhea and couldn't sleep. So These days I try to have a sweet potato every day, even though I'm not big into working out.

0
3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

on January 27, 2012
at 04:26 AM

I always boil Okinawan sweet potatoes. I also boil those Asian Koi sweet potatoes, which are yellow inside. They're both very starchy and sweet when you boil them, unlike orange yams (Southern yams), which become too mushy when boiled. I don't eat these two sweet potatoes by microwaving or oven-roasting them: they become, really, too sweet.

Instead, I like to either microwave or oven-roast Southern yams. When I first oven-roasted yams, I thought I accidentally added sugar. Then I realized that it was the caramelization. Funny, there isn't supposed to be much sugar at all in yams. The taste is incredible when oven-roasted: I cut a large yam in 4 long pieces length-wise, then slightly nip the middle for easy bending and eating when done.

If you have not eaten oven-roasted All American yams, I urge you to try. Not to be missed. More glycemic but also more tasty and sweeter than anything you imagined.

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